Theme and Plugin updates! When and how often?

One of the main aspects of maintaining your WordPress website is to ensure that the themes and plugins are updated regularly. There are many reasons in which these updates are essential.  In addition to adding features, updates can mean fixing bugs, improving site reliability, and improving security. So it is recommended to apply all updates at the earliest they are available. However, there are certain points to be kept in mind when determining how often to update the plugins and themes.

General Recommendation

It is usually recommended to update the themes and plugins once a month. Besides keeping your site safe and protected from malware attacks and hackers, this can also help ensure that the themes and plugins are compatible with each other.

Failing to update regularly can make your site vulnerable to potential attacks and incompatibilities.

Check the Plugin’s Changelog

While once a month is the recommended frequency for updating your site’s plugins and themes, it may be required to make even more frequent updates. Sometimes plugins can have critical security updates that need to be applied immediately. You can check for these updates from within the theme or plugin’s changelog.

If you find a critical security update, such as WordPress version updates, then you should implement it right away. Otherwise, it is recommended to wait for a couple of weeks before updating non-critical updates.

Reasons for Waiting to Update

There is an important reason for waiting for a few weeks before applying a normal update. If the update has a bug, it is highly likely to be detected and fixed within the first two weeks of the release.

So when you delay an update by two weeks, it will mean that you will not have to face any issues that may arise due to a bug in the update itself. You will be able to implement an update that is error-free. This means lesser hassles and more time savings.

Test an Update

If you notice an update that should be applied immediately, you can test it first using a staging environment. Many times there are updates with features or bug fixes which need to be installed right away. You can talk to your hosting provider about a staging environment and you should make the most of it – even for small updates.

Once you have tested an update and are certain that it is bug-free, you can go ahead and apply it. Make sure your site is already backed up even if you are running the update as a test.

So, the next time you see the new plugin or theme update sign, you should consider whether you need the update right away. If it is not a critical security update, you should wait for at least a week before any issues are detected and addressed. It is better to learn from the experience of other users than having to troubleshoot your site. I

Don’t feel you are techy enough to update plugins regularly yourself?

Then have a look at our website maintenance packages.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

How to choose keywords for your website to improve your SEO?

Keywords continue to be important to search engine optimisation. Search engines still rely on keywords to determine user intent and context. So you cannot ignore the importance of keywords when you want to improve your SEO. So how do you choose the right keywords for your website?  

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Searching for the Right Keywords

It is important to choose your keywords for different web pages even before you start creating the content. Keep the following points in mind when you start your search for the keywords:

  • Choose the most relevant keywords that describe your web pages.
  • Consider the value of the keywords from a commercial perspective.

Use keyword research tools to find the most relevant keywords. Choose one primary keyword and at least two secondary keywords for each page. When choosing the right keywords, it is important to set the perfect balance between relevance and commercial perspective.

Use the Right keyword Research Tool

There are many keyword research tools that provide you with valuable keyword data and help you find the right keywords. Some of the most popular tools include:

These tools provide you information such keyword search volume, keyword value, ranking difficulty, and competition amongst others.

Choose Long Tail Keywords

It is also recommended to use long tail keywords along with the secondary keywords. You will notice that some of the most productive keywords for your webpages don’t have large search volume. Users searching for long-tail keywords are more specific and focused on what they are looking for. This is different from short keywords.

When someone searches for short keyphrases, they are mostly in the early phase of their research. As they gather more information, they are going to become more specific. This is where the long-tail keywords come into the picture. So when you choose and optimise your pages for long-tail keyphrases, you are going to draw searchers who are close to conversion.

Your Website’s Competitive Power

Your website has a competitive power, which is a measure of the site to compete in your search engine results pages (SERPs). Choose keywords that have a competition score that is close to your site’s competitive power. Most keyword research tools come with competition filter that allows you to refine the results.

Choosing the Best Keywords

Once you have a list of keywords that are relevant for your website, it will be required to sort and filter them for creating your optimised content. Keep filtering and sorting keywords based on factors like:

  • Your goals
  • Relevance
  • Competition
  • Popularity

The tools can also allow you to filter and show keywords with a specific phrase. When you find the right keywords, save them. Once you have a list of the best keywords, you should start creating your content around the webpages’ topics whilst optimising with the most relevant keywords.

So follow these tips to find and use the right keyword for your website. Keyword research is going to take time, but all that effort is certainly going to pay in terms of your site’s search rankings.

Download our FREE Keyword Research Template, simply join our FREE community hub to grab this today.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

Top 5 Free Themes for Your WordPress Site

There are many reasons why WordPress is the most popular CMS (website content management system). One reason is that it offers hundreds of free website themes. But with so many options, it can be confusing to choose the ideal theme. Here is a list of top 5 free WordPress themes that I believe offer almost everything you may need to design a powerful and elegant website.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

1. AccessPress Lite

AccessPress Lite is arguably considered as the most feature-rich free theme available for WordPress. This is a responsive theme that stands out for its clean and professional design. It offers features similar to premium themes without a price tag. This includes:

  • A wide range of layouts – gallery, portfolio, blog, team-member, multiple homepage, sidebar, and testimonials among others
  • Social media integration
  • Quick contact
  • Full-width slider
  • Call to action

And much more. This WP theme is compatible with WooCommerce, bbPress, and multiple browsers. It is SEO optimised and supports several language translations.

2. Flash

Flash WordPress Theme is considered as the most powerful free business theme. It is highly flexible and can be used for a wide range of purposes. If you are looking to design a modern website, this responsive theme is the ideal option. It offers many features which are hard to find in a free WP theme. This includes:

  • Drag & Drop Site Builder: This built-in, easy-to-use tool is hard to find among free themes.
  • Flash Toolkit Plugin: This unique plugin works with more than half a dozen widget areas for a better-organised layout and interface.
  • Layout Areas: There are specific areas for testimonials and team-member details that can be adjusted as per your needs. Filterable Portfolio: There is an advanced, filterable portfolio that allows you to showcase your work in an elegant and well-organised manner.

3. Shapely

Shapely is another amazing free WP theme that focuses on improving the process of web development. It combines beautiful graphics with practical elements to allow you to create the perfect WordPress website. This responsive theme supports high-resolution Retina display, which means you can include crisp and clear vector icons, text, and graphics on your website.

This is a highly versatile WP theme and can be used in different industries. It allows your site to be compatible with all the commonly used WordPress plugins including:

  • Yoast SEO
  • Contact Form 7
  • Gravity Forms
  • Google Analytics

Or create a powerful online store using WooCommerce. When you choose this theme, there is no need to deal with any coding.

4. Customify

Customify, as the name suggests, is a highly flexible WP theme. It allows full customisation and can be used with Divi, Elementor and Beaver Builder. It provides an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor that simplifies the process of creating beautiful and functional headers and footers.

Some of the main features of this free WordPress theme are as follows:

  • Advanced header/footer builder
  • Offers premium modules
  • Responsive edit modules
  • Page builder compatible
  • Helps create ready-to-import websites
  • The visual editor delivers real-time results

And the free theme is optimised for SEO and speed.

5. Anariel Lite

This free WordPress theme is ideally suited for small businesses and bloggers looking for a theme with a clean layout. It has both classic and modern elements with focus on content. Feature multiple blog posts on the home page with images.

The free theme offers multiple typography options. It is not only responsive, it is also Retina ready helping ensure that your website renders effectively and efficiently on smartphones. There are many other features that make it just the perfect WordPress theme:

  • Multiple Layouts: Grid layout, sidebars, and boxed layout.
  • Google Fonts: This font comes along with various shortcodes and social integrations.
  • Rich Posts: You can also create audio/video posts using this theme.
  • Preconfigured Blocks: Blocks like About Us, Instagram, and Quote blocks help you save development time.

Download Anariel Lite.

So if you are looking for the most popular free WordPress themes, consider these 5 options. They are designed for ease-of-use and come with a wide range of features almost at par with premium WP themes.

However, if you are looking for a highly customizable website theme then Divi by Elegant Themes is still my favorite and I build websites for clients using this if they don’t pick their own theme.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

Help My Website is Down How To Fix It

Even the best web hosting service provider out there cannot ensure 100% uptime. So there is always a chance that your website can go down. However, it isn’t just the web host that is always the underlying reason for why your website is down.

There are almost endless reasons why a website can go down and how you can fix it.

Website Errors

Most content management system such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. Or other website building platform including Squarespace, Wix etc require updates for better features, add on’s and security so often not all these updates work well together. In the case with WordPress themes and plugins can clash with each other and cause website errors or even worse your website to crash.

If you are doing plugin updates and you get an error like this “Warning: array_merge(): Argument #1 is not an array in /home/websitename/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pluginname1/modules/plugins/nameofplugin2.php on line 32 or Fatal error: require(): Failed opening required ‘/var/www/vhosts/websitename/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/pluginname/functions_include.php on line 66 etc.

You can normally see 1 or 2 plugin names within it and these are the plugins that are causing the issue. The best way to check this is to access your websites control panel or FTP and disable the plugin (s) that are causing the issue.

To disable the plugin you can rename your plugin folder located in wp-content/plugins/nameofplugin. Just add the text disable or old at the end of the plugin name. This will disable the plugin and you should be able to get back into the WordPress dashboard. You can then test this plugin with other plugins by disabling them one by one to see where the conflict is and then contact the plugin developer for help.

If the issue occurs after a theme update then you can revert your theme to a standard theme like twenty 17 to check if the error is from the theme and then contact your theme developer for help.

Hacked Account & Malware Attacks

Occasionally websites go down because they are victims of malware or hacking attacks. Such attacks may have originated from local computer systems used to manage your website or from the internet. It is recommended to update your security programs regularly on your computer and not to use public computer systems to access your accounts.

If your website is showing weird ad’s or text then you may need to clean all your website files to remove all malware. Tightening up your website security and regularly maintaining this can help prevent it.

One time I had a client come to me to say they had text on their lasted blog post saying “I am the white horse hacker, you may want to check your website security so contact us at ……) We checked all the files and everything was clear, obviously, some person trying to get business by hacking websites with low security and weak passwords. We contacted them and they responded with…. yes we can clean your website for a price of $500. We removed the text, changed the passwords, updated all the plugins, theme and WordPress version and tighten up their website security to fix the issue and prevent it from happening again.

Your hosting provider may also send you an email saying something like this “During a recent SiteLock security scan of your Bluehost website, malware was detected which is likely evidence of a security compromise.” or ” Hello, While monitoring the server your account is hosted on, your account was found to have been compromised and is being used as a spam source. We have disabled the malicious script/s detailed below and leveraged temporary mail restrictions on your account. We understand that this can be concerning, though please accept this report as advanced notice that action is needed on your account.”

You can contact your hosting provider or developer to help you remove these file.

Changes to DNS

It is likely that you may have purchased your domain name from a third-party service such as crazy domains or site ground. Your website can go down if your domain name has expired or there have been DNS changes. Sometimes the third-party provider may update the IP address. So if your site goes down and you cannot determine what the reason is, you should contact your DNS provider (Domain name).

Issues with the Server

Server overload is the most common issue that is related to a website. This depends on many factors including the web hosting plan you have chosen, server quality, and the resources available to your website. If there is a sudden surge in traffic on the server, it may no longer be able to support all the traffic.

Normally before your website goes down you should get a notification about your bandwidth limit is reached so you can contact your hosting provider about upgrading your hosting service before your website goes offline.

The server hardware malfunctioning is another type of issue. The hardware can have different types of issues that may prevent your website from working. There may be a problem with the circuits or the cooling system. Power failure or natural calamities at your data-centers may also affect your website’s status. Contact your hosting provider.

Maintenance on the Server

All web hosts will have server maintenance downtimes. So if your site is down, this can be the underlying reason. Maintenance is required for a wide range of purposes, including upgrades to hardware, repairs, and updates to software. Most of the time, the hosting service providers notify this type of downtime in advance.

Usually, such maintenance is carried out at off-business-hours, but emergency updates may be carried out during any time of the day. Normally your hosting provider should contact you about this beforehand.

Blocked IP Address

Sometimes internet provider can block your website for unknown reasons. I have had a few clients in the past inform me their website was down and when I checked it was working as usual and this was because their internet provider had blocked them. So make sure it’s not just you that can’t see your website as it may be your internet provider and not your actual website.

Conclusion

So if you are facing a problem with opening your website, these could be the most common reasons. The moment your site goes down without any reason, you should contact your web hosting service or a website tech/ developer.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

Quick guide to compare popular website platforms

There are so many website building options to build your website on including WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace, and Wix to name a few. It gets very confusing on which one you should use, so below I’m going to outline the best platforms for website development below.

Below is a list of the best website platforms for small businesses.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

When it comes to WordPress, many users only know there is a single platform. Most users don’t realise that there are two WordPress solutions and both of these are meant for different purposes.

WordPress.org

This is self-hosted WordPress and is the original open source platform that can be used by anyone.  The only thing you will have to buy is the web hosting service and domain name. It provides you with total control over all the other aspects of your website.

WordPress.com

This is a website as a service implementation developed on the WordPress.org platform. You can use it to get a basic free website and upgrade with more space and functions. However, it doesn’t provide you with the level of flexibility that comes with the .org platform.

WordPress.org is self-hosted and very customizable. WordPress.com is not self-hosted and there are lots of limitations on customization. You will own the content when you use the .org platform (as long as you back it up) whereas if you stop paying or managing your .com website then your content will disappear.

WordPress.org vs Wix vs Joomla vs Squarespace

The key features of these different CMS platforms or in simple terms known as website builders are as follows:

  • Wix Website: This CMS provides industry-specific themes and advanced customisation options. It features templates for website and sub-pages, SEO tools, maps, contact forms, and photo galleries. Its own Wix App Market offers hundreds of apps to create fully-featured websites.
  • Joomla: This is also a popular open-source CMS that features an intuitive website management UI. You can get access to hundreds of extensions to customise and enhance the platform’s functionalities. Similar to WordPress, it has a large community where you can seek all the assistance you may require.
  • Squarespace: This SaaS site builder provides all the tools and features required to build and maintain a website. It features CMS, templates, hosting, domain, support, e-commerce solutions, and much more. The Standard version is meant for the vast majority that doesn’t have expertise in web development. Then there is the developer version for advanced users. WordPress is still the more flexible and powerful platform compared to Squarespace. However, Squarespace has its quirks. You will find it easier to set up a website using Squarespace. Just make sure to update your website and you will not have to worry about security and maintenance. If you need a simple website without any hassles, Squarespace can be an excellent choice.

 

  • org: WordPress.org gives you the advantage of self-hosting for a small annual fee with unlimited domains. You can choose premium themes that keep getting updated when the WP versions receive an update. You can easily integrate it with social media. There is no need for customisation and you have access to a vast community for support.

WordPress.org Vs Wix

Both WordPress and Wix are excellent platforms for building your site. But they have many differences.

  • Ease of Use: WordPress offers simplicity for beginners, but if you want to take advantage of its true power, you should gain advanced knowledge. Wix is designed for beginners. It offers a drag-and-drop site builder and all the tools and features are available on a click. However, it does have an advanced web application development solution in the form of Wix Code.
  • Flexibility: WP is highly flexible and customisable, but there can be issues if custom plugins and tools have issues. Wix offers limited customisation, but all the tools and features are controlled and monitored to ensure proper working.
  • Maintenance: With WP, you will have to update and maintain your website on a regular basis. Wix manages its platform and you will not have to worry about maintenance and updates.

WordPress.org vs Joomla

Ease of use is one of the fortes of WP. It is easy and quick to setup and installation take a few minutes. Many hosting services provide one-click install option to make it even simpler. It has a simple user interface and most functions can be completed with a click. Content creation is also easy. Embed content from a wide range of external sources using simple copy/paste function.

Joomla is slightly more complex than WordPress. It is more suited for someone who is moderately tech-savvy. Installation is simple and quick like WP and you can also find hosting services offering single-click installs. There are page builders that allow beginners to create more complex layouts without coding. This CMS provides more functionality than WP but is more complex.

WordPress.org vs Squarespace

There are areas where WordPress is better than Squarespace and other areas where the latter outperforms the former.

The WordPress.org Advantage

  • The CMS is more sophisticated and allows content versioning
  • You can create any type of website with WP
  • WordPress offers more number and variety of templates
  • Create websites with deeper levels of navigation. Squarespace requires custom coding for this.
  • Add more functionality to your WP site using a vast collection of plugins. This is made possible through code blocks and widgets in Squarespace

WP also has the edge when it comes to creating multilingual websites, advanced data capture, advanced SEO, and control over content.

The Squarespace Advantage

  • Squarespace doesn’t have the steep learning curve as WP has
  • Many of the features accessible through plugins in WP are accessible out of the box in Squarespace
  • Web hosting and domain names come as part of the solution
  • Squarespace addresses a significant part of your site’s security

If you require a simple and beautiful website, Squarespace may be a better option.

Conclusion

Thus, in my opinion WordPress.org may be the most popular and best free website builder due to its versatility, vastness, open-source form, and many other factors. There are still areas where other platforms can excel. So make sure to evaluate all the different options before choosing the right CMS for your web applications as it really does come down to personal choice.

If you are a current user of WordPress.org come and join me in my FREE WP Community Group.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

Let’s go ahead and talk about Website Speed for WordPress sites, with this easy guide.

To me, WordPress has proved itself to be the best of the best amongst other Content Management Systems platforms. I have worked over the years with Joomla, Wix, Squarespace, Magento, Shopify, plus other website building platform including Wix. It’s quite obvious that globally websites are getting designed by wordpress simply because it gives you the freedom to pick unique themes and plug-ins. However, conversely, it also has some weaknesses which can end up making your website being more sluggish. Let’s go through now and talk about Website Speed Optimization.

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Is Website Speed Important on a WordPress Website?

A website with a slow loading will make your potential users leave the page in a jiffy. A case study which involved Google, Amazon and other large websites, says that if there’s 1 second delay in the loading of a page, it can easily lead to loss of 7 percent conversions, 11 percent lesser page views and 16 percent reduction in consumer satisfaction. So this means there’s very little time for you to show your users the content and persuade them to hang on to your website.

Checking Speed of a Word Press Website

I recommend you regularly test your WordPress website speed with this website load test tool named Pingdom. This is an online tool that tests the website’s speed using different locations and it’s absolutely free. It then gives you an overview of what is slowing down your website and what you need to work on.

Optimize your WordPress Website Speed by following these points.

1.Choosing Right Plan for Word press Hosting

Firstly, get started with picking a web hosting provider which is right on your WordPress website. If you are a small business owner and like the whole Do it yourself options, I personally recommend Siteground. I have been working with websites since 2005 and have used many different websites hosting providers from Hostgator, GoDaddy, Bluehost to name a few. Yes, they all have their good points and if you are a small entrepreneur with low traffic then don’t stress too much. I personally recommend Siteground as it has way less downtime, a faster server, fantastic customer service are affordable and offer free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. Now if you prefer not to worry about plugin and theme updates, website security and any type of hosting management then we offer a managed hosting option on our 100% Australian owned and operated hosting server that has all the benefits of Siteground plus more. So remember, a website’s speed majorly depends on the hosting speed. Hence, a good hosting bandwidth can surely give your website a boost to perform wonderfully. Websites with servers that take ages to process the MySQL commands and HTTP requests will always have a bad speed. 2. Choosing Right WordPress Theme/Framework Opt for a theme/framework which is optimized for tablets, mobile devices, and desktops. If pages aren’t coded correctly and there’s a usage of loads of images in the design, it will add unnecessary weight to the website. However, nowadays theme developers have started optimizing their themes, as a result, they’re faster and responsive at the same time. Using right theme /framework gives good performance and better speed to your website, so try to make a right selection. I personally recommend Elegant Themes Divi, it has thousands of different layouts and it’s an easy drop and drag system that you can manage your tablet and mobile settings easily.   3. Making Use of Effective Plug-Ins A Plug-in is the biggest cause of a word press website slowing down. If you install a Plug-in without proper research, the website will always give performance issues sooner or later. A complete research about the compatibility and functionality is very important before you pick a plug-in. Now there is a plugin that helps you find out the exact loading time of each plugin called P3 Profiler plugin, however as its untested in the latest WordPress version and it has been updated for 3 years, I would think this would be a security risk, so I personally no longer use it, and do it the old-fashioned way. Only use up to date plugins and test each one as I upload them.

I am a strong believer that adding more plugins slows down the website as it needs to use processing time and memory.

4. Choosing Content Delivery Network Cache Plug-in and Enabling Browser Caching.

A CDN plug-in is very useful since it publishes the static HTML files rather than dynamic files and this helps immensely in reducing the page loading time. This plug-in features Minification, feeds caching, Gzipping, Content Delivery Network support and lots more. I have used WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, and W3 Total Cache. I like W3 Total Cache as it is flawless and has all the website optimization tools in it. You can also enable browser caching by adding expiry period for specific resource type in your .htaccess files, however, this is something I suggest your WordPress tech does. When large files such as JavaScript files, images, and CSS files get changed or updated your website speed becomes slow. Enabling one of these browser caches as suggest above will allow the user to boost the loading time by locally storing a cached copy. Of course, this will reduce calls to the website server and won’t let the user download the same file again and again.

5. Optimizing the Images

Web pages containing plenty of images may take a long time in loading, therefore it’s best if you choose to optimize the images before uploading them to the word press website. Editing software such as Photoshop or canva is great. Doing this before uploading your images will optimize the images and maintain the quality as well. Ideal image size should be below 100KB. Think that you have a web page with 20 images, each sized 500 KB. This means 10MB of data is required for just loading these images. I would also recommend using the lazy load plugin as it would speed up website load time by just loading the images visible on the screen if you haven’t optimised your images to start with. An awesome tool to use if you use Chrome as your internet browser is Page Ruler, it lets you measure the size of your website so you can plan to resize your image to that size before uploading it online.

6. Minify JavaScript and CSS

Whenever webpage loads, the JavaScript files and CSS sends a request to the HTTP, therefore there’re a lot of requests to the server, this makes page loading slow. PHP5 application can minify by combining multiple JavaScript files and CSS into one file.  Consequently, the request number of HTTP gets reduced to a great extent. CSS and JS minification is a tricky part. Sometimes using Minification tools such as the Better Word Press Minify or WP Minify plugins completely messes up your website. I always manually do this as it is much safer that using plugin.

7.Enabling Gzip Compression Word Press gives you the ease to enable Gzip compression. This can let you transfer your website page to some browser at 70% of the original size approximately. The browser will then decompress that page and put on view to the end user, this helps a word press website to perform well. For enabling Gzip, just change the Gzip value from 0 to you’re.htaccess file. Any standard plugins like Check and Enable GZIP compression do the same job but doesn’t go adding more plugins as this will just add to the site loading time anyway.

8. Reducing Drafts, Spams, Pingbacks, Post Revisions and Trackbacks It’s extremely important to delete spam comments, unwanted pingbacks, and trackbacks on a regular basis. Word Press by default saves numerous revisions in the drafts but this isn’t required because it only adds to your database. The plugin Akismet plugin is one of the powerful tool to combat against spams. I add custom code to restrict access to XML-RPC and server-side authentication to wp-admin files, in-case if the website is under DDoS attack. Also, I delete old revisions and inactive posts data from database manually, as it is much better option than depending on plugin such as WP-Optimize or WP-DB Manager

9.Disabling Hot linking and Leaching of Content Hot linking is a kind of “theft” of your bandwidth. This happens when other websites directly link to your website images through their articles and this puts a good amount of load on your server. A Content scraping website will automatically make posts by actually stealing your images or content from the RSS feed. So disabling Hot linking as well as Leaching will save your WordPress website from these activities. Again you can add some code to your .htaccess, file but this is for another article.

10.Optimizing Word Press Database For enhanced performance, always optimize the database of your word press website by removing all unnecessary information. WP-Sweep plug-in easily manages the database optimization by allowing you to delete database like trashed posts, unused tags, revisions, etc. However, this can also be done manually to save adding more plugins online.

In Summary

Conclusively, without the correct precautions to speed up your website, you will lose your Google ranking and this can affect your website’s SEO.  Remember, faster-loading word press website will always improve your user experience, increase the page views and make the SEO of your website better. Contact us if you would like further help.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant. I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people. I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life. If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.